The track, up & back....
by Bronnie : )
Aerial view of the Stuart Highway
Tips for travelling the Stuart Highway
Lived in the Territory most of my life - Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and Darwin - missed Katherine for some reason or other.... I've bussed, flown, caught the train, been an offsider in a truck, been a pillion on a motorbike & driven up and down the track so many times.
So I think there's a couple of important things that need to be shared with other travellers:
1. make sure the vehicle you are travelling in/on is road-worthy as there is a long way between stops & mobiles don't always have coverage. (sounds so obvious, don't it? )
2. retreads quite literally blow-up in summer when roads are extremely hot & the distance being travelled is far. Try to have proper tyres on the car.
3. make sure the engine cooling system works as the temperatures in summer can be extreme & the engine may not cope.
4. always carry water, loo paper & plastic bags. The bags are to put the used paper in - nothing worse than dunny litter getting stuck in the spinefex.
5. be extra careful on sunrise & dusk - all the critters come out to play & usually on the side of the road.
6. black cattle are hard to see at night & cross the highway at the most inconvenient times. Brown ones are not much better.
7. wedgetail eagles don't like giving up their dinner (roadkill) & won't move real fast even if you are hurtling along the highway at them. They can cause serious damage if they fly into your car.
8. although small, galahs can also cause serious damage if they fly into your car (one put a massive dent in the top of our panel van once).
9. not all vehicles on the side of the road need assistance - be very aware of your own safety. If you do drive on past & yet are concerned, notify someone at the next stop.
10. road train triples can travel at upwards of 110km per hour - be ready to break the speed limit trying to pass them and allow yourself plenty of road to achieve this.
11. April to August is generally when the grey army hit the highway - retirees heading north to the warmth for winter - be ready for caravan convoys that might try your patience a little at times.
12. if the local police have closed the road due to flooding, believe them - nothing worse than getting stuck between two rising rivers (rare but can happen).
13. don't play with the snakes - they're most likely nasty & poisonous.
14. rest when need to - the track is fairly boring at times & can get a bit hypnotising.
15. seat belts are a necessity!!! even out there accidents can happen & in the event of a roll over, the belt will at least keep you in the car.
I could keep on adding more and more.... have fun, enjoy the changes in the landscape, take some amazing sunset photos and make some awesome friends. Gotta love the bush....